Rural crime continues to fall in Northern Ireland

The cost of rural crime has continued to decrease in Northern Ireland following a sharp drop at the beginning of the pandemic.

The 2022 Rural Crime Report revealed rural theft cost Northern Ireland an estimated £1.7m in 2021, down from £2.1m in 2021. The Northern Ireland reduction is greater than the UK average drop of 9.3% in 2021 and signs so far this year look like Northern Ireland is curbing countryside crime.

We must not become complacent and reports from across the water suggest the first quarter of 2022 has seen thieves in England, Scotland and Wales making up for time lost over the pandemic, but in Northern Ireland the reduction in rural theft continued.

However, shipping delays and the effects of Covid and Brexit have contributed to low supply and a rise in demand for quad bikes and other machinery. Knowing that thieves were keen to capitalise on growing waiting lists and soaring market values, Countryside Alliance Ireland would encourage in rural communities to take part in the various security marking schemes across Northern Ireland to reduce the risk of theft.

Countryside Alliance Ireland Director Gary McCartney said: “It is encouraging to see that the cost of rural crime continues to fall across Northern Ireland, however, farms and rural communities are still being targeted. Rural crime is not a victimless crime causing emotional and financial stress  to those involved especially at this difficult time as they face unprecedent challenges.”

“We remind rural communities to remain vigilant as we move into the colder, darker nights of Autumn and as the cost of living crisis really starts to bite, we call on those who live in the countryside to ensure possessions are locked away, out of sight, especially those of high value. Take photos of any valuable items and record any details including serial numbers or any identifying features and report any suspicious activity in your area to the PSNI.”

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